I am back to teaching after a couple of decades lost in the world of HR. I’m teaching ELA to five classes of 7th graders. Three of the classes have been a pleasure so far, but the other two are not fully in my control. I have about 30 students per class, and both afternoon classes have at least six kids with real issues, whether those be impulse control or anger or whatever and they all feed off of each other in an endless loop of misbehavior. It’s a diverse student body, mostly from a poorer area. I am having a hard time just keeping them quiet and seated for the whole class. One girl called another a “ho” in class, which I dealt with immediately and got an apology. Right after that, a boy in the class got into it with her, and when I told him it was settled and he was to be quiet, he said he could say what he wanted and when I told him he needed to stop talking, he said “F*ck you” to me. I wrote him up and he got a talking to from the principal and Dean, but I still feel awful. I have a point system going, where they get points for quieting down on request, volunteering in class, good answers,etc. If they get 25 points in a week, they get to play board games for the last 10 minutes of class on Fridays. Three of my classes made it, but these last two did not. I even had a girl tell me “no one respects you”. I feel like I’ve lost them already, and it’s only the first week of school. if my other three classes weren’t going so well, I’d think I just had forgotten how to teach! Any advice for me?